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Old 12-17-2004, 02:55 PM   #1
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Question about flourscent lighting..

Well, since we are getting a 55 gallon tank for the Eel this weekend, and from what I have read, the Eel is reef safe, we are wanting to make the 55 gal a reef tank.

My question is, can a reef be supported by flourscent lighting only, or do you NEED MH Lights?

From what i have read, 5+ watts per gallon are recommended (Correct me if I am wrong), so I would need high wattage lights,.

But, if this can be done, what are the recommended bulbs? From looking online, and in the stores (lfs, petsmart, etc) There are soo many different kinds of lights..

Could someone educate me please?

Many Thanks


Dave
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:04 PM   #2
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Lighting is based on what types of corals you want to keep. Some are successful with pc, and some with MH. NO lights are good for the FO side, but you will want a little more strength for a reef tank. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but it is also required for some corals. There are even many combinations you can use: 4x55w pc running with MH, or by itself. You tell us what you want to keep, and we will suggest what lighting would be best. HTH

Mike
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:12 PM   #3
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I was thinking of starting off with some Xenia (so many types to choose from), and / or Orange Spot Colony Polyp Coral (Sea Mat, i've seen em called).
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:25 PM   #4
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http://liveaquaria.com/product/prod_...fm?pCatId=1861

You can most likely use pc for this particular species. It will also enhance the colors as well.

http://liveaquaria.com/product/prod_...cfm?pCatId=699

There are different types of Xenia, but most of them call for moderate lighting. If you are curious about lighting requirements for any others, you can use the site above for reference. HTH

Mike
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info..

The last remaining question that i have is which 'TYPE' or blub, if I go with pc lighting...

I mean, there Actinic, 6700k, 10,000k, 50/50 actinic / natural....

*pulls out hair*
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:36 PM   #6
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The ones that came in my Coralife pc are the 10,000k and the actinic 03. The actinics are really nice, but the 10,000 IMO is kind of yellowish. If you go with a 4x55w or 4x65w I would do the actinic 03 with the 50/50's. Lighting is a tough topic as there are LOTS of choices. The easiest way to determine lighting is to have a specific selection of corals then base the decision on that. However, if you are like me, I change my mind constantly so I guess it doesn't matter at the time. I wanted the blue effect with shimmering, so I went with 250 MH 14K bulbs. You can run these without actinics and it looks awesome. I also run the 4x65w pc along with it. As you can see, I don't have any corals in my tank, but am fond of condy's. Are you planning on doing a retro kit for lighting, or enclosed? If you want retro let me know and I can help you save money on lighting.

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Old 12-17-2004, 03:50 PM   #7
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Ahh.. Another choice.. Retro / Enclosed?? Not sure what you mean by Retro (DIY Maybe?)
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:55 PM   #8
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Retro is basically attaching it to the canopy. Enclosed sits on the glass tops, or egg crate..which ever one you are using. I prefer the retro as I can get my MH 12" above the water to prevent damage to the bulbs. If you do a retro MH, make sure you have some height (12-15") canopy. These are fairly easy to build if you don't want to buy one. I built mine with all supplies including the fans for $130.00 from HD. Retro is also generally less expensive that enclosures. The good thing about the retro is you can mount the ballast under the stand to prevent additional heat and weight. With shipping, I paid $188.00 each for my 250 MH retro's.

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Old 12-17-2004, 03:58 PM   #9
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Ahh.. Ok..

As of right now, all the lighting I have is enclosed then. Flourscents, sitting on the glass top, under the homemade canopy (less than 1/4 inch clearance) :-/


I will be doing another diy canopy this summer, for the 55 gallon, so while I am at it, i'll build it with more clearance..


Also, on that, what's recommended? Glass top or Eggcrate? I had eggcrate at one point, but the stories of carpet surfers (And my having an eel that's known for escape), i went with a glass top, with sized cuts in the back plastic for the filters, etc.
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Old 12-17-2004, 04:04 PM   #10
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Escape artists such as the eel can limit you on the top. You would definitely need a glass top fitting as you already have. Just make sure you have your PH's pointing at the surface for sufficient gas exchange and you should be fine. In addition to that, make sure you have good flow. I would recommend 10x the size of the tank for gph - 550gph is what you eventually want. 2 Maxijet 1200's will do the trick.

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